A last-minute contract offer from the union representing community college faculty was unsuccessful dashing hopes a strike by more than 12,000 professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians could be avoided. Picket lines are expected at Ontario’s 24 community colleges – including Georgian College – on Monday morning.
“On October 14, we presented Council with a streamlined offer that represented what faculty consider to be the bare minimum we need to ensure quality education for students and treat contract faculty fairly,” said JP Hornick, chair of the union bargaining team. “We carefully crafted a proposal that responded to Council’s concerns about costs in a fair and reasonable way. “Unfortunately, Council refused to agree on even the no-cost items, such as longer contracts for contract faculty and academic freedom,” she said. “This leaves us with no choice but to withdraw our services until such time as our employer is ready to negotiate seriously.”
In a statement Sunday, the College Employer Council called the strike “completely unnecessary,” suggesting the fastest way to resolve the strike is for the union to accept the colleges’ final offer or put the offer to members for a vote. Adding accepting the union’s demands would add more than $250 million to annual costs, eliminating thousands of contract faculty jobs and “jeopardizing the quality of college programs.”
Five-hundred thousand students are affected.
from Georgian College:
“In the event of a strike, full- and part-time classes would be cancelled. College buildings would remain open, staff and administrators would be at work, and many non-academic services for students would continue. Certain on-campus events may be cancelled. Some field and clinical placements and internships would also be cancelled.”
The Union representing faculty at Ontario’s colleges has made a final offer in hopes of averting a strike by more than 12,000 professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians working at 24 colleges, including Georgian College. The proposed contract includes:
- a 50:50 ratio of full-time to contract faculty, which currently sits at over 70% contract faculty
- increased job security for partial-load faculty, who currently work on one-semester contracts
- academic freedom to give faculty a stronger voice in academic decision-making
“This is a fair and reasonable offer that addresses the top concerns of faculty across the province while taking into account the employer’s concerns about costs,” said JP Hornick, chair of the bargaining team for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). “If the Council team cannot accept this final offer, it is because they are more interested in profits and power than the well-being of our students and the college system.”
The College Employer Council has said its last offer was its final offer. It includes a 7.75% salary increase over four years and more full-time positions.